Chapter 124: The Scent of Perfume

Jiang Zhengkai turned his head to the side to look at Dr. Liu as he listened to her words. Deep within his heart, he had already made a decision. Dr. Liu paid no attention to Jiang Zhengkai’s expression as she continued to attentively observe A-Lian, who was in the room opposite her. A-Lian’s mouth was still moving in that familiar half open, half closed rhythm. After a while, Dr. Liu started mimicking the same rhythm and movement, and the words easily came out. “No! Don’t! Xiu! Don’t kill me! Xiu! Ah! Don’t kill me!”

 

“Dr. Liu, what do you think is the reason behind A-Lian’s repeated mouthing of these words?” Jiang Zhengkai placed his gaze back on the monitor. “Do you think A-Lian’s insanity might stem from her fearing that A-Xiu was going to kill her?”

 

“That is a possibility!” Dr. Liu answered confidently. “Medically speaking, it is probably the last piece of information her brain stored before she turned mad. In other words, it is highly probable that the reason A-Lian went completely insane is because she saw or felt like A-Xiu was going to kill her.”

 

“How is that possible?” Jiang Zhengkai placed his hand under his nose and covered his mouth in shock. By now, the surprising revelation had already caused his mouth to go slack. “A-Xiu had been dead for two and a half years. How could this happen… Unless she has a twin sister?”

 

“I’m not sure about that,” Dr. Liu said as she shot a helpless smile at Jiang Zhengkai, but her gaze quickly returned to the screen as she continued talking. “Maybe it had something to do with the situation in the room at that time. But before A-Lian turned completely insane, she shouldn’t have been that easily fooled… Anyhow, Officer Jiang, if you don’t need anything else, I would like to take the patient back to her ward. I don’t think that she will be able to provide you with any more information.”

 

Displayed on the screen was A-Lian writhing on the bed as A-Jiao stood by the side of the bed after retreating back, attentively watching A-Lian’s frightened expression in silence. On the other hand, A-Lian was hysterically screaming, “No! Don’t! Xiu! Don’t kill me! Xiu! Ah! Don’t kill me!” A-Lian had curled her body up into a ball and wouldn’t stop trembling. 

 

“Alright! I think… that I should also leave with my team.” Jiang Zhengkai shifted to the side and extended his hand towards Dr. Liu to shake her hand. “Thank you! Dr. Liu.” 

 

“No problem! This is something that I should be doing.” Dr. Liu gave Jiang Zhengkai a smile but did not shake hands with him. She left the monitor room and went to A-Lian’s room. Perhaps both her doctor’s professional honor and conscience were condemning her right now. Humans often say the opposite of what they mean. 

 

By the time A-Jiao and Jiang Zhengkai returned home from the hospital, it was already very late. To be more exact, it was technically very early in the morning. A-Jiao absent-mindedly took her shower and then went straight to bed. In his heart, Jiang Zhengkai knew that A-Jiao wasn’t ready to talk right now. Although she had been the one who suggested that she act as A-Xiu, it had still been an emotionally draining experience for her. 

 

By the time Jiang Zhengkai had finished rinsing himself off and went to bed, A-Jiao was already deep asleep. He on the other hand was still very much awake, ruminating over the ramifications of the day’s events. “No! Don’t! Xiu! Don’t kill me! Xiu! Ah! Don’t kill me!” What do those words mean? Did A-Lian actually see A-Xiu that night? Or was it someone else who merely looked like A-Xiu? Plus, that black spot… Could it be that the black spot on the picture wasn’t some randomly refracted light? How did Guo Dinggang turn into a skeleton while A-Lian was next to him? But if there was someone else in the room that night, then why didn’t Wu Xiuping see anyone else? 

 

Jiang Zhengkai was deeply troubled by his flow of consciousness. However, his instinct as a policeman was saying that the culprit must have looked extremely similarly to A-Xiu. But he was still uncertain about the motive behind the murder and whether the lookalike had any accomplices. As for why Wu Xiuping hadn’t seen the killer in the room, perhaps the murderer was like Liu Qian, a master magician? 

 

Early next morning, A-Jiao woke up from her slumber. She turned to her side and noticed Jiang Zhengkai staring at the ceiling, “Honey, how come you’re up this early?” A-Jiao leaned against Jiang Zhengkai and placed her head on his chest, “What do you think caused A-Lian to turn insane? Why did she keep yelling ‘No! Don’t! Xiu! Don’t kill me! Ah! Don’t kill me!’” 

 

“I don’t know either.” Jiang Zhengkai’s train of thought had been interrupted by A-Jiao. He shifted his gaze to her and asked, “Honey, you’re awake? Do you feel better?”

 

“Ah! Your eyes! Did you not sleep last night?” A-Jiao peered at Jiang Zhengkai’s bloodshot eyes and got up from his chest worriedly. She hovered above him, carefully looking into his eyes. “Why didn’t you sleep? Were you worrying about me?” Jiang Zhengkai smiled kindly. “Yes!” So even the smartest woman will sometimes act dumb. As a man, I shall satisfy her vanity!

 

“Actually there’s nothing wrong with me!” When A-Jiao received a satisfactory answer from Jiang Zhengkai, she snuggled her head back into his chest again. “I’m just feeling a bit down. Honey, do you think Sister Xiu might still be alive?”

 

“Still alive?” Jiang Zhengkai glanced at A-Jiao, shocked. This could be a real possibility. Although A-Tie claimed that A-Xiu had been personally buried by him, they never found A-Xiu’s corpse. Could A-Tie have lied?

 

“Yes! How can someone so similar exist? To even have the same temperament, habits, and all?” A-Jiao laid on Jiang Zhengkai’s chest and continued thinking out loud. “Think about it. The female officer was quite similar to Sister Xiu in every physical aspect, but since I am familiar with Sister Xiu, I saw right through her.”

 

“Your point is?” Jiang Zhengkai moved his body closer to the headboard so it was easier for him to hold A-Jiao in his arms.

 

“If A-Lian really became mentally unsound from fear, then I think the culprit has to be Sister Xiu. Otherwise, if it was someone completely random, how could they imitate her so perfectly? Plus, Sister Xiu had some habits that outsiders wouldn’t be privy to. For instance…” A-Jiao explained some of A-Xiu’s actions and mannerisms to Jiang Zhengkai. “Are there people who undergo special training for something like this?”

 

“So last night, you determined that the female officer wasn’t A-Xiu based on all these details?” Jiang Zhengkai asked. He thought about what A-Jiao had said and lightly nodded his head. Some aspects are definitely nearly impossible to imitate.

 

“Not really! The moment she walked in, I knew it wasn’t her.” A-Jiao pointed at Jiang Zhengkai’s nose. “She didn’t have the cheap fragrance characteristic of Sister Xiu.” A-Jiao turned to her bedside cabinet and gathered her previous day’s attire. She then brought the items closer to Jiang Zhengkai’s nose. “It has quite a unique smell, doesn’t it?”

 

“Cough! Cough! It really does.” A distinct, pungent scent entered Jiang Zhengkai’s nostrils. “Where did you get this from?”

 

“You’re really stupid! While you were busy last night, I had Xiaoqiang drive me back to get it.” A-Jiao pursed her lips, smiling at Jiang Zhengkai. “There are some more in the storage room.”

 

He nodded his head and a moment later thoughtfully inquired, “Then the scent must have been even stronger in the past?” 

 

“Probably!” A-Jiao replied while lying on Jiang Zhengkai’s chest, “Sister Xiu mixed her perfumes herself. But I used wax to seal all of the leftover bottles, so it should have been able to retain some of its original scent.”

 

“What a little devil!” Jiang Zhengkai softly stroked A-Jiao’s hair. It was common knowledge that, if left for a long time, a perfume’s scent would dissipate. But if the bottle was sealed, the rate of dissipation would naturally slow down considerably. “Therefore, if A-Lian was really scared mad by Sister Xiu that night, then I think this unique fragrance would’ve been on her mind too.” A-Jiao leaned closer to Jiang Zhengkai and sweetly asked, “Don’t you agree, honey?”

 

“Hm!” Jiang Zhengkai replied vaguely since he was unsure of how he should respond. If A-Xiu mixed this perfume herself then how did the killer get the scent?

 

Jiang Zhengkai naturally understood what A-Jiao was trying to hint at. If that’s the case, then shouldn’t I seriously consider ‘luring the snake out of its hole’ as a tactic? But if A-Xiu is still alive, then wouldn’t she already know that we’re together? Would A-Jiao be in danger as well?

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